Trend Watch, April 2016

The next Highline: underground?


Smart optics bring natural light and flourishing plants to the Lowline experiment, a foray into subterranean parks.

“It is lit by soft, bright rays that bounce off an aluminium canopy. When a cloud passes by, it gets dimmer; you look up almost expecting to see a skylight. Ferns, palms and Spanish moss hang from the ceiling. Funnelled from three solar panels on the roof, the light is refracted but still natural, so it contains the full spectrum of colours that plants need to flourish …”

Visit the Economist 1843 article, or go to the Lowline website.


Why do we work so hard?


The problem is not that overworked professionals are all miserable. The problem is that they are not, writes Ryan Avent.

“I could anticipate with perfect clarity how the rhythm of life would slow as we left the city, how the external pressure to keep moving would diminish. I didn’t want more time to myself; I wanted to feel pushed to be better and achieve more. It wasn’t the stress of being on the fast track that caused my chest to tighten and my heart rate to rise, but the thought of being left behind by those still on it.”

View the Economist 1843 article.


Design Trump’s wall


If we have to have a wall, let’s make it a socially responsible, sensitive feat of engineering and design, asks the Third Mind Foundation.

“What the magazine Slate has called ‘The Great Wall of Trump’ may or may not be a better answer. But if, as polls indicate, it is an idea that is gaining some traction among a significant amount of Americans, we believe it should be considered as a serious architectural question.

“Can the idea of a wall be combined with architectural activism?

“This is the competition’s challenge: To bring bold humanitarian solutions, creativity and innovation to bear on alternative ideas of a border wall.”

Visit the competition website.


Ireland’s LA renaissance


Jamie Ball from the Irish Times tracks a greater understanding and appreciation for landscape architects.

“People often talk in this country about the lack of joined-up thinking, but, by its very definition, landscape architecture is joined-up thinking.

“That’s how we are trained, and we are very good at encouraging other people to also work in that interdisciplinary way.”

See the full story here.

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